‘Pushpa’ star Rashmika Mandanna, who is making her Hindi cinema debut with Amitabh Bachchan and Neena Gupta in ‘Goodbye’, said her character Tara is the complete opposite of her and also shared anecdotes about working with the Big B.
She said, in fact, that Tara is more like her sister, Shiman, who is 16 years younger to her and demands a rational explanation for all that she’s asked to do.
“I am not at all like Tara, who doesn’t believe in rituals and questions everything,” Rashmika said in an interview. “I have great faith in all the rituals and superstitions. I think my sister is more like her. She wants an explanation for everything. Like, why are you doing this or why have I been asked to do this? So, yeah, Tara and my sister are quite similar in this way.”
She also talked about her bond with her sister. The relationship between them is more like that of a mother and daughter, rather than that of two sisters. Rashmika said: “My sister is very close to me and shares everything about her friends. If she has a fight with them, she tells me about it, not my mother.”
The 26-year-old actress, who’s now also called the ‘national crush’ post ‘Pushpa’, said that in the initial days of the shoot she came with her pup because he was she was too small.
“In the middle of it all, I got to know that she was ill and was stressing out, but the moment the people on the sets got to know about it, they came with a vet,” Rashmika said. “This is the energy that we had on the sets. It was extremely special.”
Talking about her first foray into Hindi cinema, Rashmika said: “I think initially it was very intimidating. But after that, I think it came to a point when we all sort of just blended in so beautifully as a family, even if we’re just a couple of actors coming in and performing.”
On sharing screen space with the Big B, Rashmika said: “I think for me, Bachchan sir was the picture of professionalism. Of course, he has his own aura, but he is most professional and at heart a simple man. The combination is so beautiful.”
Whenever she would be shooting with the Big B and Neena Gupta, Rashmika used to have one big complaint: “Everyone used to blend in so well and have fun. I would notice this and ask them, ‘How do you guys know each other?’ And they would said that they had been working together for a long time. That’s when I told them that I want to be part of their group.”
Recalling an incident on the sets, Rashmika said: “We were reading our lines and practising the dialogues as Vikas (Behl) sir wanted the longest cut in one go. Bachchan sir was there, I was there and so were the others. Suddenly, Bachchan sir is like, now I want to go home. Why are we wasting time? I was like, did I say something wrong, because this line was not there in the dialogue. We all used to have a lot of fun like this.”
Referring to her initial hesitation to take on the role, Rashmika said during her conversation: “When Vikas sir came with the script I was like, how I am going to do this. I am just a fun- loving and easy-going person and I asked him, ‘Have you approached the right person?’. The character is the complete opposite of me, but he showed confidence in me.”
She continued: “I just got to know that my eyes can emote either sadness or anger, and these are two emotions I can express very well. Right now, I am experimenting with my craft; There’s no fun in doing the same thing again and again.”
Rashmika, who made her acting debut with the 2016 Kannada film ‘Kirik Party’ and launched in Telugu with ‘Chalo’ and in Tamil with ‘Sulthan’, is entering Bollywood with ‘Goodbye’.
Directed by Vikas Bahl, and produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor, the film also features Sunil Grover, Pavail Gulati, Ashish Vidyarthi, Elli AvrRam, Sahil Mehta and Shivin Narang in supporting roles. ‘Goodbye’ is set to release on October 7.